THE TRI-TRACK MODIFIED SERIES returns to Star Speedway in Epping Saturday with a stellar lineup of open wheel hotshots ready to pursue over $40,000 in Tri-Track Modified Series purse money. There’s also lots of extra contingency cash — much of it garnered by racing journalist and long-time Star supporter Kevin Rice.
The field for the 10th annual SBM 125 will include each of the top five finishers in last weekend’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway — winner Ryan Preece (narrowly), Justin Bonsignore, Ron Silk, Ronnie Williams and Jon McKennedy.
McKennedy turned it on in the later stages of Star’s first Tri-Track Modified Series contest two months ago to take the checkers ahead of Matt Swanson and Chris Pasteryak.
That list of seven likely suspects to land in victory lane is just the beginning. Multi-time Tri-Track champion Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa., six-time Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby of Milford, Conn., Westminster, Mass. teenager Sammy Rameau — a Tri-Track winner at Monadnock in May — plus several more capable contenders, including Connecticut chauffeurs Chase Dowling and Les Hinckley and Anthony Nocella of Woburn, Mass.
Saturday’s race isn’t exactly an NHMS Whelen Modified Tour rematch, though. For one thing, several of the top dogs will be driving different cars for different owners. Only green flag laps count, only a single tire change is allowed and the starting lineup is determined by qualifying heat results and a redraw — not time trials.
Four regular Star divisions, including the J&S Paving 350 Supers, will also compete.
White Mountain Governor’s CupWhite Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock will be a busy (and pristine as race tracks go) place this Saturday and next. First comes this week’s New Hampshire Governor’s Cup Late Model 100 followed by the American Canadian Tour Late Model Mid-Summer Classic 250 on Saturday, July 31.
The Mid-Summer Classic is quickly becoming just that — a classic and one of the biggest and most significant races of the year in the Granite State — and not simply because it pays $10,000 to win. The race is usually a down-to-the last lap deal as tire wear and fatigue factor in big time. Last year Dillon Moltz of New Sharon, Maine, pocketed the ten grand by utilizing a surprising no-pit strategy and hanging tough as the troops closed in.
There will be plenty of competition from accomplished drivers that aren’t competing regularly on the ACT circuit this season, most notably Jason Corliss of Barre, Vt., who’s the man to beat every time out at Thunder Road.
Corliss recently won the Vermont Governor’s Cup at Thunder Road. It was the third win of the year and career win No. 23 for the defending track champion. He’s now tied with Barre’s Nick Sweet for second place on the all-time Late Model win list at the “Road,” trailing only Vermont Gov. Phil Scott.
Derrick O’Donnell of North Haverhill was the Governor’s Cup runner-up. Preece — in his ACT Late Model debut — finished 10th. Scott was 18th. Bryan Wall Jr. of Kingston won the Flying Tiger feature.
• Claremont returns to action Friday night after its mid-summer break. The 602 Dirt Modifieds will make their third appearance of the season. The R.E. Hinkley Oil Street Stocks, led by defending champion David Greenslit, are scheduled for dual feature races and the Avery Insurance Six Shooters will be going extra laps in a $250-to-win main event.
On Saturday, July 31, the Granite State Pro Stock Series will be at Claremont for the $10,000-to-win Newport Chevrolet 150.
• In addition to its weekly divisions, Monadnock welcomes in the Northeast Midget Association (NEMA) Saturday for the Iron Mike Scrivani Memorial along with the NEMA Lites. The NEMA Lites roster includes New Hampshire drivers PJ Stergois of Candia, Chase Locke of Raymond, Dennis O’Brien of Deerfield, Bradley Osgood of Claremont and Dennis Potter of New Boston.
• The Pro All-Star Series Super Late Models will travel to Seekonk Speedway Wednesday, July 28 for the $10,000-to-win Bay State Classic.
• Double Late Model features are slated for Saturday at Riverside Speedway, which also has the Northeast Mini Stock Tour scheduled.
Two historical notes: Ten years ago ... Norm Wrenn of Nashua, the founder of the New Hampshire Short Track Racing Association (NHSTRA) and the owner of Lee USA, Claremont and Monadnock Speedway, drove to a career-best third-place finish in a Valenti Modified Series 100 at the now-defunct Canaan Speedway. In 2014, Jon McKennedy won the inaugural SBM 125 at Star Speedway.
On Track This Weekend
Thunder Road (Vt.): Thursday, 7 p.m.
Claremont: Friday, 7 p.m.
Lee USA: Friday, 7 p.m.
Stafford (Conn.): Friday, 6 p.m.
Bear Ridge (Vt.): Saturday 6 p.m.
Londonderry Speedway: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Monadnock: Saturday, 6 p.m.
White Mountain: Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Riverside: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Star Speedway: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Hudson Speedway: Sunday, 5 p.m.